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Do Aliens Exist? Blink 182 Co-Founder and Ex-Pentagon Official Are Determined to Prove We’re Not Alone

by Keith Kloor                    September 20, 2018                       (newsweek.com)

• On July 29th, Luis Elizondo, the former career military intelligence official in charge of the Pentagon’s UFO research program from 2007 to 2012 and current member of rock star Tom DeLonge’s ‘To The Stars Academy’, spoke at the annual Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Symposium at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

• Elizondo’s background is typical of a straight-arrow military officer with a distinguished career. He is the son of a Cuban exile who participated in the Bay of Pigs in 1961. Elizondo worked as a bouncer while attending the University of Miami. After graduating in 1995, he joined the Army and trained to be a military spy. Later, at the Pentagon, Elizondo showed no sign of being a disgruntled employee, spending much of his career chasing militants in South America and the Middle East.

• In 2010, Elizondo was made the head of a small group within the Pentagon charged with investigating reports of “unexplained aerial phenomena” – a less controversial term for UFOs. It was an ¬obscure, low-budget initiative created in 2007 at the behest of then-Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and operated jointly by Elizondo and Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace. But the results of their UFO investigations made Elizondo a true believer. Although the Pentagon program was officially shut down in 2012, Elizondo insists it remains ongoing.

• Elizondo resigned from the Pentagon in October 2017 protesting what he considered lackluster support and unnecessary secrecy. “Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this (UFO) issue?” Elizondo wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis in his resignation letter, “Despite overwhelming evidence at both the classified and unclassified levels, certain individuals in the Department (of Defense) remain staunchly opposed to further research on what could be a tactical threat to our pilots, sailors, and soldiers, and perhaps even an existential threat to our national security.”

• When Tom DeLonge launched ‘To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science’ in October 2017, Elizondo joined and quickly became its public face. Its mission: to advance UFO research, produce science-fiction-themed entertainment about UFOs and, with luck, glean some insight into the super-advanced technology displayed by UFOs (such as spaceships that can seemingly defy gravity) that the Pentagon keeps ignoring. Over the past year, the Academy claims to have attracted more than 2,000 investors and raised roughly $2.5 million.

• ‘To The Stars Academy’ also boasts such heavy-hitters as Chris Mellon, the former deputy ¬assistant secretary of defense for intelligence during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations who had oversight of the Pentagon’s super-¬secret ‘special access programs’ and highly classified ‘black operations’; Jim Semivan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service; and Hal Puthoff an electrical engineer who conducted controversial research on psychic abilities for the CIA and the DIA.

• The $22 million Pentagon UFO project marked the first time that the U.S. government admitted to studying UFOs since the Air Force’s ‘Project Blue Book’ was shut down in 1968. Despite Senator Reid’s assertion in an interview with New York magazine that “we have hundreds and ¬hundreds of papers… 80 percent at least, is public,” and Mellon’s statement in Washington Post op-ed, that referred to a “growing body of empirical data,” Elizondo says that much of these “large volumes” of academic studies and data are “FOIA-exempt,” meaning the public is not given access to them.

• There are those in the UFO community who are skeptical of DeLonge’s motives. They believe he simply wants to profit off his UFO-related books, websites and merchandise, and that his antics are part of the business plan.

• As the Academy’s head of Global Security and Special Programs, Elizondo serves as a liaison to the government, including Congress, the Pentagon and the intelligence services. Elizondo thinks that the next six months or so will be pivotal to the success of ‘To the Stars’ when he expects to be able to present more data on UFO sightings. “I’m not worried about credibility,” Elizondo says. “I’m worried about facts.” Reminded that the only facts the public has now are grainy videos, he insists, “There is data. It’s not out yet.”

• Elizondo understands why many remain dubious. “I get it. I’m a career spy,” he says.” “No, I am not running a government disinformation campaign.” “I took a huge risk in leaving a safe job to do this. If this doesn’t pan out, I’ll be working at Walmart.” “But…as crazy as it sounds, this is real.”

 

“I know what I saw.”

It was late July, and Teresa Tindal, a 39-year-old administrator for a consulting firm, was describing the incident that made her a believer: a round, golden object hovering in the evening sky over Tucson, Arizona. Weather balloon? No way. It could only be one thing: a UFO.

This kind of certainty had brought her—and 400 other people—to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Symposium, the “premiere UFO event of the year,” according to its literature. They had gathered to talk about extraterrestrials, UFOs and how to avoid being abducted by an alien mothership (hint: yelling at it doesn’t work). “There are too many people that have seen things,” Christine Thisse, 44, a soft-spoken mother from Michigan, told Newsweek.

There were the typical guest speakers giving talks with titles like “Unexplained Disappearances in Rural Areas” and “Report From Mars,” in which a physicist lays out his theory that 75,000 years ago an intergalactic nuclear war wiped out a Martian civilization. And there were famous abductees, like Travis Walton, a former logger whose story of alien captivity became the 1993 movie Fire in the Sky.

But this year offered another attraction—a new, and extremely unlikely, superstar: Luis Elizondo. Seven months earlier, The New York Times had published a front-page story on the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, a “shadowy” initiative at the Pentagon that “investigated reports of unidentified flying objects.” Elizondo, a burly Miami native with a billy-goat beard and colorful tattoos, was the career military intelligence official put in charge of the program a few years after it formed in 2007, until, according to the Pentagon’s press office, it was discontinued in 2012. (Elizondo insists the work is ongoing.) Last year, he resigned from the Pentagon, protesting what he considered lackluster support and unnecessary secrecy—red meat for the X-Files crowd. “Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue?” he wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis in his resignation letter.

In the private sector, Elizondo soon found an unlikely ally in his quest for the truth: Tom DeLonge, the former frontman for the pop/punk band Blink-182, the group behind a song called “Aliens Exist.” Turns out DeLonge actually believed it. In 2017, he launched To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, and Elizondo quickly became its public face. The mission: to advance UFO research, produce science-fiction-themed entertainment about UFOs and, with luck, glean some insight into the super-advanced technology displayed by UFOs (such as spaceships that can seemingly defy gravity) that the Pentagon keeps ignoring.

The academy claims to have attracted more than 2,000 investors and raised roughly $2.5 million, and Elizondo found a mostly enthusiastic crowd in Cherry Hill. “Sometimes people may have associated you with being fringe—being out there,” he told the MUFON audience over a buffet dinner. “All along, you were right.” Not everyone was convinced: Some cited a lack of evidence in his presentation. Tindal was suspicious of the Pentagon connection. “It could be a cover for something else,” she said.

But if Elizondo is trying to lend credibility to research on unexplained sightings, why would he partner with a guy whose band had a hit album titled Enema of the State? And why would he choose as a venue a UFO conference teeming with conspiracy theorists?

“We have to start somewhere,” he told Newsweek that day. “I don’t get invited to Stanford or MIT.”

Super Hornets and Tic Tacs

Each year, thousands of people report UFO sightings to various authorities—the police, the Pentagon, radio talk show hosts. By one count, more than 100,000 sightings have been reported since 1905. Nearly all can be explained away as clouds, meteors, birds, weather balloons or some other quotidian phenomenon. Efforts at rational debunking serve only to harden the conviction of the true believers, who are convinced that abundant evidence of alien visitations is hidden in secret military documents—literal X-files—locked away in the bowels of the so-called deep state.

The X-files conspiracy theory is the beating heart of the UFO community—an article of faith among enthusiasts and the basis of almost every call to action on social media (#Disclosure). It is also encouraged by some prominent people, including John ¬Podesta, who lamented on Twitter a few years ago that he’d failed to secure the #disclosure of the UFO files, “despite being President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

When Elizondo went public, it gave a sheen of credibility to the conspiracy crowd. His background is typical of a straight-arrow military officer with a distinguished career. He is the son of a Cuban exile who participated in the Bay of Pigs—the failed CIA-¬sponsored plot to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1961. Elizondo worked as a bouncer while attending the University of Miami. After graduating in 1995, he joined the Army and trained to be a military spy. Later, at the Pentagon, Elizondo showed no sign of being a disgruntled employee or a loon, spending much of his career in the shadows, chasing militants in South America and the Middle East.

In 2010, he started to run a small group charged with investigating reports of “unexplained aerial phenomena”—a less controversial term for UFOs. It was an ¬obscure, low-budget initiative created three years before at the behest of then-Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Details are murky, but the $22 million program seems to have been operated jointly by Elizondo and Bigelow Aerospace, a Nevada-based defense contractor whose billionaire owner, Robert Bigelow, is an avid believer in UFOs.

Two months before the Times published its front-page story, Elizondo retired from the Pentagon. He shows Newsweek what he says is a copy of his resignation letter, dated October 4, 2017, and addressed to Mattis. The letter expresses some frustration about the lack of attention his program was getting. And it suggests that something he learned at the Pentagon turned him into a true believer. “Despite overwhelming evidence at both the classified and unclassified levels,” he wrote, “certain individuals in the Department remain staunchly opposed to further research on what could be a tactical threat to our pilots, sailors, and soldiers, and perhaps even an existential threat to our national security.”

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From the X-Files – Is the Pentagon Hiding UFOs in a Las Vegas Hangar?

September 9, 2018                       (dailygalaxy.com)

• “Disclosure is not an event, it’s a process,” said Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

• Elizondo left the Pentagon program in October of last year, saying that the government was not taking UFO sightings by the military seriously enough. The Pentagon admitted the existence of AATIP, but claimed it was discontinued in 2012. But in an interview with The (UK’s) Sunday Times, Elizondo reports that the program was never wound up and continued to monitor UFO sightings until as recently as last October when he quit.

• On the northern edge of the Las Vegas sprawl where city meets desert is the headquarters of Bigelow Aerospace, a company that plans to launch and sell its own space stations and build a space hotel and a lunar base. Armed sentries guard the building which may hold exotic “metamaterials” – synthetic materials with composite structures that exhibit properties not found naturally materials – of a crashed UFO spacecraft, according to Elizondo. (see image below) From 2007 to 2011, Bigelow Aerospace, a company founded by Robert Bigelow, 73, an entrepreneur and self-avowed ufologist, was paid $22 million by the Department of Defense.

• Former Nevada Senator, Harry Reid, was the point man in funding the Pentagon program and Bigelow Aerospace. Reid said, “I had talked to (astronaut) John Glenn a number of years before. [Glenn] thought that the federal government should be looking seriously into UFOs, and should be talking to military service members, particularly pilots, who had reported seeing aircraft they could not identify or explain.”

• When the existence of the Pentagon UFO program was released late last year, the secret was out. Most questions, such as where the money went, and what Bigelow is closely guarding in Las Vegas, have remained unanswered. The conspiracy website, Abovetopsecret.com, reported that Bigelow approached Mufon in 2008 with a business proposal to buy its database of UFO sightings and archive of evidence, including quite possibly alien artifacts, for $672,000. By November 2009, $334,000 of it had been paid.

• “Captured alloys and material from UFOs — that has to be alien, right?” says John Greenewald of the Black Vault website. “This rivals the Roswell debris going to Hangar 18.”

• “Internationally, we are the most backward country in the world on this issue,” says Bigelow. “Our scientists are scared of being ostracized, and our media is scared of the stigma. China and Russia are much more open and work on this with huge organizations within their countries. Smaller countries like Belgium, France, England and South American countries like Chile are more open, too. They are proactive and willing to discuss this topic, rather than being held back by a juvenile taboo.”

 

“Disclosure has already occurred. Disclosure is not an event, it’s a process,” said Luis Elizondo, former head of a hitherto unknown government operation called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

On the northern edge of the Las Vegas sprawl where city meets desert, a vast building resembling a giant hangar, the headquarters of Bigelow Aerospace, a company that plans to launch and sell its own space stations and, more ambitiously, build a space hotel and a lunar base, occupies a 50-acre city block . This is the headquarters of Bigelow Aerospace, a company that plans to launch and sell its own space stations and, more ambitiously, build a space hotel and a lunar base. Today, the hangar doors are closed and tumbleweed now blows across the car parks.

 addition made to Bigelow Aerospace       corporate compound

The perimeter is secured with razor wire and concrete barriers, and the only staff visible from outside are armed guards, hiding inside what’s speculated to be salvage of a crashed extraterrestrial object –commonly known as a UFO.

Residents of the neat residential streets say security was tightened at Bigelow Aerospace late last year when it was revealed by the New York Times and Washington post that the company was paid by the Pentagon to store parts recovered from crashed “unidentified aerial phenomena” — military-speak for UFOs — exotic materials believed to be alloys that defied scientific analysis and physically affected those who came into contact with them.

                              Robert Bigelow

Not since 1947, when the US army said it had found a crashed UFO near Roswell, New Mexico, but in fact proved to be a weather balloon had the government come so close to admitting we are not alone in the vast reaches of the Milky Way.

But to date, there has been no retraction of the latest story of Pentagon UFO intrigue. Questioned about the events, the Pentagon has maintained an information blackout, as has Bigelow Aerospace. With no new leads, websites normally regarded as outlets for conspiracy theorists have turned up intriguing new evidence and stolen a march on America’s mainstream media.

The strange story of the salvaged UFOs began with the abrupt resignation last autumn of a senior Pentagon official, reports Nick Rufford for The Times of London. Luis Elizondo was the head of a hitherto unknown government operation called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), run by a team of 12, based on the fifth floor of the Pentagon called C-ring.

In a parting letter to Jim Mattis, the US defence secretary, Elizondo said the government was not taking sightings of unidentified craft by American warplanes seriously enough.

“Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue? There remains a vital need to ascertain capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.” Elizondo’s leaked letter blew the lid off what was, in effect, a clandestine government UFO-watching unit, infuriating the Pentagon’s top brass. In a terse statement, the Pentagon admitted the existence of AATIP without mentioning the UFO connection: the program, it said, was set up “to assess far-term, foreign advanced aerospace threats to the United States”, it said, and was discontinued in 2012 to make way for “other higher priority issues”.

Since then, Elizondo, whose impeccable credentials were confirmed by The Washington Post, has remained largely silent on the subject. But in an interview with The Sunday Times, he reports that the program was never wound up and continued to monitor UFO sightings until as recently as last October, when he quit. In the fascinating video below emphatically states that “disclosure has already occurred. Disclosure is not an event, it’s a process.

5:18 minute video excerpt of Robert Bigelow interview on “60 Minutes”

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Why Are UFOs Making It Into the Mainstream Media?

by Laura Valkovic                       August 5, 2018                       (libertynation.com)


• The long-dismissed idea of covert government research into UFOs was given a new level of public credibility in 2017 with the NY Times article exposing the pentagon UFO program, and the “tic tac” UFO video(s). Is the U.S. government finally starting to give the public the disclosure that many have hoped for, or is this actually an attempt by the Deptartment of Defense to prime us for the imminent expansion of war beyond the confines of our planetary surface? Or could it be both?

• For the believers and advocates who have long been relegated to society’s fringes, we may finally be getting what we wanted. UFO’s were covered by numerous mainstream media outlets including The NY Times, Politico, CNN, Washington Post, and Vanity Fair. Fox News host Tucker Carlson (above image) declared, “UFOs have captivated the public interest for decades but they’ve always been dismissed, including by me, as the province of wackos. But that is changing.” Robert Bigelow, head of Bigelow Aerospace, has publicly admitted that he believes aliens visit Earth. Career Exopolitics researcher Paola Harris (and Exopolitics Institute faculty member) wryly told an audience in Manchester, the (NY Times) article had finally convinced her children that she wasn’t crazy after all.

• Soon after President Trump took office he began discussing missions to the Moon and Mars. In June 2018, he told reporters that he wanted to attain “American dominance in space” and directed the Department of Defense to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. Military. A leaked DoD draft report states: “DoD will usher in a new age of space technology and field new systems in order to deter, and if necessary degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy and manipulate adversary capabilities to protect U.S. interests, assets, and way of life… This new age will unlock growth in the U.S. industrial base, expand the commercial space economy and strengthen partnerships with our allies.”

• In April, U.S. Representative Ami Bera (D-CA) called for a congressional hearing on the UFO matter saying, “I think it’s fascinating, you know, we don’t know what these phenomenon are. Obviously, it was important enough to allocate some funds. We ought to talk about what we can talk about openly.”

[Editor’s Note]  Drip. Drip. Drip.

 

The matter of UFOs has often been associated with tinfoil hat wearing fanatics looking for little gray men, but the people who have long been relegated to society’s fringes may finally be getting what they always wanted.

U.S. Representative Ami Bera (D-CA)

In December 2017, the long-dismissed idea of covert government research into UFOs was given a new level of public credibility by a most unlikely source: The New York Times. In a piece called “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program,” NYT reporters revealed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a black budget Pentagon program that was investigating reports of unidentified flying objects in conjunction with private company Bigelow Aerospace.

AATIP, UFOS AND THE MEDIA

The Department of Defense (DoD) program began in 2007 with the backing of former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). While a lack of funding reportedly ended the Department of Defense program in 2012, the program’s former head, Luis Elizondo, believes that it has continued.

Paola Harris

The story made a splash in the papers, with coverage by the big players including Politico, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, Vanity Fair etc. What The New York Times story did, which countless ufologists never managed, was to bring the (or at least one) government UFO program to the serious attention of the public, and the mainstream media now deemed it acceptable to mention the term “UFO” without irony. As career Exopolitics researcher Paola Harris wryly told an audience in Manchester, the article had finally convinced her children that she wasn’t crazy after all.

Public interest has also been fuelled by a video of an encounter between a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet and a mysterious craft. Released by the DoD at the same time as the AATIP acknowledgment, the video depicts an unidentified flying object in the most literal sense – whether it is extraterrestrial in origin is not a foregone conclusion and many alternative scenarios are possible. Nevertheless, the possibility of alien craft presented in the footage has sparked an interest in the mainstream media that is

Robert Bigelow

unprecedented. Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared, “UFOs have captivated the public interest for decades but they’ve always been dismissed, including by me, as the province of wackos, but that is changing,” in a segment where he broadcast the Navy footage and interviewed Elizondo.

It’s not just the press that has finally expressed an interest in UFOs; U.S. politicians are getting in on the action too. Representative Ami Bera (D-CA) called for a congressional hearing on the matter at a Politico Space panel in April, saying “I think it’s fascinating, you know, we don’t know what these phenomenon are. Obviously, it was important enough to allocate some funds. We ought to talk about what we can talk about openly.”

5:24 minute video with Tucker Carlson eating crow for branding UFO believers as ‘wackos’

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